We know that this administration has used the IRS for political purposes to blunt the organizing efforts of opponents of Barack Obama in the 2012 election to be specific. Now we know they’re not the only agency. Let’s talk about the Environmental Protection Agency for a moment here. The Energy and Environment Legal Institute is a conservative environmental group that has been asking the EPA to release records under the Freedom of Information Act on their background records on the EPA’s veto of an already granted permit for a coal mine in Logan County West Virginia. There are lots of jobs pending with the issuing of the already GRANTED permit. The EPA came in and overrode the issuance and said no to save the mayfly. The insect, the agency says, is harmed by surface mining. I doubt it but check it out here: (http://www.mayfly.org/category/mayfly)
So this group wanted the background documentation about the mayfly, and how the EPA came to make their decision. They got turned down 6 out of 6 times, and the EPA refused to waive the fees related to Freedom of Information Act requests. They would not give them the information but still charged them for the request.
So they did a study about the EPA and fee waiver request and it turns out that according to EPA own records for the period 2012 and part of 2013 it turned out that the EPA rejected or ignored 21 out of 26 fee waiver requests from conservative groups an 81% rejection rate. At the same time during the same months of 2012 and 2013, the EPA granted fee waiver requests for 75 out of 82 freedom of information act requests from environmental groups that typically support the agency’s regulatory efforts for a 92% approval rating.
In other words, the EPA blatantly withheld information, withheld waiver of fees for any group that would criticize them and blatantly waived the fees and gave the information to any group that would support what they were doing.
Do you detect a transparency in government problem here?